tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN October 1, 2012 11:00pm-12:00am EDT
lesson from the one and only beyonce who knows how to turn an onstage mishap into pure awesomeness. ♪ >> the show must go on, people, and go on she does. neither rain nor snow nor falling down nor hair extensions or trouble or flat-out upchucking in front of thousands of preteen girls will keep these pros from finishing their songs. justin bieber, we salute you. that does it for us. thanks for watching, "erin burnett outfront" starts right now. "outfront next, days after four americans were killed in libya. mike rodgers, chairman of the house intelligence committee is "outfront" tonight. plus, the l word, that's what both candidates are being called tonight. liars.
is this what we should expect during wednesday night's debate? and the white house attacked by a cyber attack believed to be from china. it was detected and foiled, but it was on our top secret nuclear trying ar. let's go "outfront." good evening, everyone. i'm erin burnett. "outfront" tonight, the buck stops at the white house. cnn has learned that the white house chose to leave out key intelligence from the attack on americans in libya. now, there were three things u.s. intelligence has confirmed to be tree. the attacks were preplanned, terrorist attacks and the work of al-qaeda linked groups. intelligence expert who has worked in the pentagon for two decades tells "outfront" the key information left out of the talking points can only mean the administration is covering something up. u.s. intelligence knew about the
al qaeda link within 24 hours of the attacks. and the now infamous comments by susan rice saying the attacks were not preplanned, not the work of terror were four days after that. this does not add up. intelligence committee chairman mike rogers is our exclusive guest, but first, elyse has the latest on the news she's been "outfront" with from the start. you have been breaking this, this latest story about the white house choosing to leave information out. what are your sources saying as to why the white house left out key points. like the fact that this was a terrorist attack. >> well, i think, erin, if you look at the chronology of how this happened, the days after the attack -- in fact the day after the attack, my sources were telling me this was a preplanned military style assault, indication that there were terrorists involved. then as the days gone by, even though my sources continued to tell me this was preplanned, the white house started using these talking points.
saying it was a mob. no sources were saying there was any evidence of a mob and these talking points were delivered by susan rice on sunday even though there were officials that continued to say it was a -- and use those points when official say listen, this was the best information that susan rice was given. administration talking points at the time, but you can see that selective talking points being used because there were a lot of theorys going on at the time. >> but some in the white house, obviously, were privy to these piece of information. terrorist attack, preplanned, al qaeda linked and somebody made to choice to not put that in the talking points that went to officials and congress. >> we don't really know who made that choice. some say this was the best evidence, others say this was part of the pile of intelligence and since it was in that pile, it's really unclear where these
talking points came from, but certainly, you see just day susan rice said this, the administration walking back saying this is a preplanned terrorist attack. >> it was susan rice that went out and did the talk show rounds. you might say why wasn't it hillary clinton. the man who died worked for her. she is the secretary of state. does that add to the intrigue here as to why the ultimate person in charge wasn't going out? >> well, i think susan rice kind of got the short straw here. i mean, there are a lot of people -- first of all, hillary clinton -- i think our own candy crowley can attest that hillary clinton doesn't do talk shows very often. and certainly in an instance like this, i think hillary clinton has been doing this a really long time, and knows what it looks like at first blush is
not what it ends up being true even the next day or in the end. it was caution on her part she wasn't the one and there are those who think she was put in a bad position. >> thank you very much. "outfront" tonight, the chairman of the house intelligence committee and good to see you. appreciate you're taking the time. obviously, now hearing as elyse has been able to confirm there were a decision made. and given to the american people. why did that happen? >> well, i can't say why, but that's incredibly disturbing information. and so there's two parts of this, erin. one is the investigation itself. list listen, this was not barack obama's ambassador, it wasn't the democratic ambassador, it wasn't the republican ambassador. it was the american ambassador. this was a terrorist attack
against the united states of america that took the life of our u.s. ambassador, and three very distinguished embassy employees. americans deserve is truth. what happened? the reason that's so important isn't for the political fodder, it may or may not make in the next three weeks, but this is serious business. if you look at what happened in kenya and tunisa with the bombings there -- or tanzania, excuse me. and then you have the uss cole in december, what happened with the 9/11 commission, they went back and said, what happened when there wasn't any response, al qaeda made the interpretation that it's okay to be more aggressive, and then you had 9/11 that following year. so this is important for two reasons. one, i think the americans have the right to know it was their ambassador that was killed. there was certainly misinformation flowing and i think political interpretation of intelligence is always a dangerous thing. i don't care who does it. lastly, what are we doing to track these people down and send
the signal we will not tolerate this? we risk another serious attack by not taking this seriously, and that's my concern. >> and let me ask you this key question, is there anyway that you could be persuaded by what some are saying may be what the administration is going to use to defend themselves on this? which is, all right, everybody, we knew it was al qaeda linked groups, we didn't know what specific group, before we go out and use the word al qaeda willie nilly, ween watt to get that additional information. is that something that would have you say, okay, that makes a little bit of sense. >> that would great if they said we didn't know what happened. that's not what they did. matter of fact, i think the decisions they made, this wasn't the intelligence given them. it was what they did with the intelligence that was the huge problem and it was a policymaker i argued, huge mistake. four days after the event and went on offense. now, this was just spontaneous, we couldn't have prevented it.
we didn't know anything about it. a horrible way to get going. then the kicker is they blamed it on this video that nobody in america had seen and hardly anybody in the middle east had seen and that elevated. you just gave a permission slip to every bad guy across the middle east to use that to their advantage, and it resulted in u.s. taxpayer money being spent in pakistan, because they labelled it as a problem. >> which was a significant ad buy in pakistan. >> the problem is that, it exacerbated the problem. here's why people should be outraged. that's not the information they had sitting on their desk. maybe served to inflame the middle east, inflame our troubles. and just now they can't get out of this irk is elling of the wagons, if you will. >> i want to know what word you think is the right word to use. if they knew terrorist, did someone in the white house make a pointed decision to lie? is that too strong a word?
>> i'm not willing to say that today. i think the information we gather should lead us to the right answer to that question. it is clear there is an abundance now of information. the reason i came out on that last sunday and haven't talked since is because i wanted to go through the information and make sure what did happen. what do we know happened and we didn't base it just on our briefings, by the way, as an intelligence committee. we have other sources and our own methods to review like this. to make sure we get the story right and it was clearly from the beginning not lining up. so i think somebody deliberately made a decision to go in a direction that wasn't fully backed by the intelligence that gave them. now, i think we're going to have to come to a conclusion of why that happened. i think the president needs to come out and explain this. i think the secretary of state needs to explain this. for a couple of reasons. not just for americans. i think we have the right to know. but for people who risk their
lives every day, our intelligence officials risking their lives around the world. they have the right to know that their back is being covered by the united states and we're taking all the appropriate security measures not based on some political narrative, but what are the facts on the ground? whoever wins in november is going to have to deal with this. republican or democrat and we better get it right for our national security. >> we had spoken to someone who has spent a lot of time in north africa studying al qaeda as an agent, and who has worked for the pentagon for two decades who said given the information we have now and what the white house knew, that there is evidence of a cover-up. i'm curious as to whether you agree with that. and also, whether you think -- and i guess this evokes what happened with the iraq war, whether there was a cherry picking of information that would lead one to a conclusion -- to a specific conclusion. maybe not the right conclusion, but to a conclusion, in this
case of a mob action that was spontaneous. >> we're continuing to review. it is very clear to me that they picked pieces of information for convenience sake that fit a narrative that they believed you know, i don't want to question their motive of what they thought they were doing. i don't know if it was political or not. i don't have any information that it was political or not. it was clearly done. and i argue, i know other committees are going back to look at to see if congress was deliberately misled, which would be a violation of the law. i'm not involved with that. they're going to have to fully go to the end of that. i would be careful about accusing anybody until that case came to a close. but clearly there were huge mistakes made here, and huge -- i argue -- foreign policy mistakes that were compounded by the original decision that they weren't going to use the information that the intelligence committee was giving them and they were going to go off on their own. i think it's a dangerous decision. i think we're seeing that now and we're going to pay a price for this.
and we're going to have to figure out how to put it back together. >> have you been told you're going to get all of the cables, anything in prior months in and years to this, that this was coming, especially in the two or three months before? >> we've requested the documents. they have yet to arrive. the cooperation is not what we had hoped. i just hope we don't have to ramp this up. this should be done -- we should do this as an internal investigation so we can move forward and make sure that the orem basscies of the world, that we don't not let al qaeda off the hook on this, and i'll tell you again, that 9/11 commission was very strong in not responding to the uss cole may have cost us the 9/11 attack, but clearly it was in their mind that they could do more. we have to make sure that this gets shut off now. i said at the beginning, that if a month from that event, we're still talking about who has to blame, we are in serious trouble from a national security perspective. >> obviously, those days, we are getting to that day. thank you very much, sir. we appreciate you taking the time.
and still "outfront" president obama and mitt romney have something in common. they're both being called liars. plus, could legalizing marijuana in a battleground state sway the presidential election? yes, could it come down to something like that? there is big money involved. john avlon out front in colorado and a second american airlines flight has to make an emergency landing. a row of seats comes loose. can planes really fly in bankruptcy? [ alarm clock ringing ]
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"outfront," our second story, liar, liar. according to the romney campaign, that is the president's strategy. >> the president does a very good job of trying to mislead and distort and distract so he can win this thing by default. >> stop lying, mr. president. >> i think the challenge i'll have is that the president tends to how shall i say it? say things that aren't true. >> you've got to love chris christie. say things that aren't true, mislead. sometimes, if you're going to call someone a liar, you can just call them a liar. this is a preview of what we're going to be hearing from mitt romney on wednesday. that's what some say. will it happen and will that attack work?
ryan epsilon and roland martin are both here. good to see you both. is that what's happening? is he going to come out, ryan, and say, look, there you go. that famous there you go again. there's another lie or no? >> i think it's unpredictable. i'm not sure if the debate is the right place to do it. after the paul ryan speech, you have the obama campaign referring to the lies in paul ryan's speech and that's echoed by president obama's allies in the media. when you don't have the romney campaign's response robustly. for example, president obama has been running ads claiming that mitt romney's going to race taxes on the middle class. now, mitt romney has never made that claim. this is coming from a report making all kinds of arguments. and he's made all kinds of assumptions that the romney campaign has rejected. >> he's trying to close a lot of loopholes i know he doesn't want
to close in order to make that true. >> also puts harvey rosen, you can also generate enough growth to avoid a middle class tax increase. there are a loft credible folks saying something else. it's a fact he's going to raise middle class tax. >> the obama campaign, david plouffe is a chris christie of the campaign saying their campaign is built on a tripod of lies and the president has said sometimes they just make things up. so it sounds like the democratic side is going to say, hey, liars. >> last i checked, isn't this called politics? you have lying all the time in politics. it is our responsibility to call folks out on it. on my tv 1 show, i have a segment called the biggest damn lie. it's the biggest one each week we hear in politics. >> that's got to be a very tough line to draw. >> no, no, because it's real clear. some lies are much bigger than others. you have to call folks out on it. here's the problem i have when it comes to a debate. when you hear lies on a debate,
they should be called on out on the spot. when you hear a lie, it shouldn't be, hmm. it should be i'm sorry, mr. romney or president obama, that's not true because with so many people watching, people want to know i'm hearing the truth. it shouldn't be let me wait two hours later to get the truth. call them out on the lies whoever says it, on the spot. >> sometimes, that takes a tough level of preparation. although you should be able to -- >> that's why you have a team to decide and that's their job. >> we live in a world -- >> it's not just about preparation. >> lies are subjective. i can't believe i'm saying that -- >> president obama -- promised he would not raise middle class taxes. in his affordable care act, there are a number of tax increases that will impact households making less than $250,000 per year. you can parse that and say, it's note a tax increase the way i talked, that's something else. the thing is, one thing or another, is it a tax increase or not? it certainly is through the tax system. it is impacting some middle class households. did you lie? he's going to say, no, i did not
lie. >> and that's fine, if you say something, you call him out on it. here's the deal, romney is not going to try to bring it up in the debate. nor will president obama. the moment you do, have you opened the door for your opponent. >> you have to look in the mirror, it's an ugly picture. >> the responsibility is going to rest on the debate mod rater who is not going to do it. >> what people are saying is, can i get somebody to tell me the truth? i will say this here. you can parse words all you want to. there are some things called undeniable truth. no matter how you want to dance around it, there are some things that are very clear. some things are true, some things are false. >> there's also such a thing as throwing things against the wall and that is what the obama campaign has been effective at doing and the romney campaign hasn't been effective at doing that. >> the romney campaign, they have been -- i can show you the proof. go to our website. we have all the time. again, you have campaigns --
>> check up on after the fact. >> no, no. that's my point. you said earlier -- >> you want to call. >> you said don't fact check during the debate. i sid absolutely. if you have that many eyeballs watching and this is -- >> we can go back and hear the the transcript. i didn't say don't fact check during the debate, i said it's subjective and you can manipulate the process. >> so some things, but there are some things that are very clear. that are very clear. it's either true or false. and so, for instance, if you hear romney say with the stimulus, that was all spent on product that is didn't work, first of all, 40% of the stimulus -- >> when did he say that? >> dude, seriously? do you need us to press play? >> president obama -- >> it is a republican talking point that the stimulus did not succeed. >> i'm not arguing first of all, we have heard people say none of it has worked. >> but you said mitt romney said that. this is throwing things against the wall and seeing what sticks. >> i'm not throwing it up against the wall, i'm making the point -- in a debate, what i'm
saying is, we should have the opportunity that when somebody makes a statement, you can have your team there, laptops sitting right there. say, i'm sorry, a moment ago you said this here, that's simply not true. and you put them on the spot to have to answer that versus let it slide and we figure it out later. >> you are saying you agree, there would be a role for that? that would enable someone to say, look, tax cuts on the middle class, for example. >> depends on who the moderator is and fundamentally, the romney campaign doesn't feel their getting a fair shake. look at the fact checkers who have been objectively checking. they themselves have been fact checked in many cases and haven't told the complete story. >> didn't both campaigns agree to the moderators already? i'm saying you can do it. it's not like that's somehow up in the air. >> they didn't agree to the
moderate irs entering the debate and -- >> i can tell you having done fact checking briefly, being a fact checker, you've got to take a lot of vile nastiness. >> people do not like being called out on lies. >> people don't like when it doesn't go in their direction. thanks very much to both of you. our third story, a midair scare for the second time in recent days, a row of seats on an american airlines plane came loose. it happened earlier this morning on a flight from jfk to miami. sandra endo is following the story tonight. what have you been learning about this? >> we know the details here and american airlines flight had to return to jfk after a row of seats came loose and this is the second plane to go through this. saturday, a boeing 757 from boston to miami carrying 175 passengers diverted back to kennedy airport when three seats in row 12 came loose shortly after take off. the plane safely landed and no injuries were reported, but they issued a statement saying there could be an issue with a certain
model of seats and how they fit into the tracking used to secure the seats. out of abundance of caution, american has decided to proactively inspect eight 757s. the issue does not seem to be tied in any one maintenance facility or group. we contacted the pilot's union for american airlines and they said the saturday incident is "an embarrassing problem, and that an overhaul of the plane involved was performed by third party maintenance workers." as you know, erin, american is already going through a turbulent time with pilots calling in sick and more maintenance orders coming in, they are ranking at the top of the list of major carriers when it comes to flight cancellations and delays. >> thank you very much. of course, american airlines is in bankruptcy and that makes you question whether that does
affect how the airline operates. ahead, the u.s. government under attack from hackers and today, all signs point to china on one of the most sacred and secure parts of our national security. and new national and battleground polls released. is the streak of bad news for romney finally over? members from both campaigns going to duke it out. who's going to tell the truth, "outfront" next. ♪ [ male announcer ] how do you turn an entrepreneur's dream... ♪ into a scooter that talks to the cloud? ♪
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we start the second half of our show with stories we care about where we focus our reporting on the front lines and we begin with iran. a cameraman who came to new york for the u.n. general assembly is now trying to stay here in the united states. his american lawyer says he applied for an asylum. in a statement, he said my client disagrees with the regime. he had concerns on how they would treat him upon his return to iran. he objected to things that were requested of him during the trip
to the u.n. by the regime that he did not want to do. we're going to keep following that story. honda is recalling more than 570,000 accords sold in this country due to potential fire risks. the problem is with power steering hoses that can leak creating smoke and fire. honda said in a statement there have been no crashes or injuries reported, but there was an engine fire and the part needed is not available until next year. for now, owners can take their car for an interim repair. it is been 424 days since america lost its top credit rating. what are we doing to get it back? unfortunately, we're edging closer and closer to the fiscal cliff. american households will see an average tax increase of $3,500 each if congress does not do something to avert the fiscal cliff, in which everything from payroll taxes to full tax rates will go up. and now our fourth story
outfront. under attack by hackers. this was pretty incredible because the white house today confirmed that its military office was the target of a cyber attack with a suspected attacker, china. this is the office responsible for the united states of america's nuclear warplane. now, cnn has learned this was an unclassified network which was hit. officials say they dealt with the threat, but these attacks are relentless and the pentagon encounters thousands of them a day. how does washington keep up with this threat? "outfront" tonight, retired colonel cedric leighton. colonel, great to see you. the white house is saying we dealt with this, still, this is the white house. this is an office which is responsible for the united states of america's nuclear war plans how. how serious was this? >> it's great to see you, too, but this is too close for comfort when it comes to hacking attacks, especially when it comes to protecting the nuclear codes and anything else that is sensitive from a military nature. the white house military office was responsible for those, so
also all the military support the president gets. the information that is passed by on their unclassified networks can be very sensitive in nature. >> how would we know? given the fact that china and others are relentless and the information we store could be -- how would we know if they stole something? >> well, sometimes you don't know and that's the problem. generally speaking, you know, when it comes to spear fishing attacks, they're among the simplest types of attacks nowadays. basically what that means is, you send an e-mail and hope the person responds and clicks on the link. the e-mails that were used in this particular case were fairly innocuous and they were smart enough to control what they clicked on. but you don't know. there are so many cases for
example the case of the nortel corporation in canada, where there was malware resident on their computers for over ten years before anything was done about it. the company ended up losing tons of intellectual property. just another nail in their coffin when it came to their bankruptcy and other things. there are so many aspects to that that became really, really difficult. and when you're talking about the white house military office and any office in the white house, it becomes a great cause of concern. you want to seal those networks off as much as you can from these kinds of attacks. >> it's unbelievable. not just hundreds of billions of dollars of r&d we put into something, but decades of work, and someone like china could steal it and get caught up to us that quickly.
now to romney's swing state of hope. so, the latest polling out of north carolina, if it's any indication, you could see romney's demise in swing states has been greatly exaggerated. romney is now leading in north carolina by four percentage points. last week, we showed you another poll from the state which had the president ahead by two points. this is pretty incredible and nationally, our new poll shows the president ahead by three points. as you can see, that's within the margin of error. is this new momentum for the romney campaign going to be enough? good to see both of you. ben, let me start with you. i know you have been out here, jen was out here saying on friday, look, we're always going to play like we're five points behind, but are you worried when you see polls like this? you have to get a little excited, you were ahead, and now all of a sudden not. >> well, you know, we never thought we were going to win these battleground states by ten points. this has been a closer competitive race for the past
year and a half. but you saw in the poll cnn had today in which the president has erased mitt romney's edge on the economy. and i think that's because the american people have started to focus on his policies. the fact he would provide a $5 trillion tax cut to the wealthiest americans, that he'd repeal wall street reform and the affordable care act and replace it with nothing. they're starting to focus on his policies and the choice is starting to crystallize as election day approaches. >> our poll only had the president by one point, so you are correct, although that is margin of error. tara, is this good news from north carolina enough for you or are you still very worried that there are several key states, which you must win. or you're not running that close according to the latest polls? >> first off, there was a nice pivot by ben, but president obama won north carolina last time around and i think it should give them pause, but when you look at these polls and i've said this before, we expect this to be very tight. down to election day.
in these battleground states across the country, so i think that you know, what you're saying is that bounce that president obama had coming out of the democratic convention has gone away. it's dissipated and more americans are looking at the romney ryan ticket as one that will address issues and will deliver a plan that has impact on middle class americans, that will bring down taxes for all americans. period. there's only one candidate that's actually talking about raising taxes and there's another candidate, the romney ryan ticket, that will cut taxes for all americans. so i think as we go into this, we'll hear a lot more of that. obviously at the debate and this is the next phase of that campaign. >> mitt romney leads according to our poll, on unemployment and the deficit. let me ask you this, ben, because one thing our viewers may assume is that democratic
base is now energized and the convention is now partly responsible for that. recently, jim -- our new poll, how do you feel strength of support, 72% of voters are strongly excited. 74% of obama voters. that's a virtual tie and extremely or very enthusiastic about voting in november, 65% of republicans. 64% of democrats. does that worry you? in '08, part of the reason the president won was his people were way more enthusiastic than john mccain's. >> we heard enthusiasm on the republicans side last year and that's been erased and now it all comes down to turnout. what's different from past elections is people are voting right now today in iowa. they're starting to vote tomorrow in ohio. our supporters are camped out at polling places and thousands
more democrats voted in iowa last week than republicans. that's the way we've built this organization on the ground for the past 500 days. to turn our supporters out. the romney campaign has been betting they can win this thing on the air. we're investing in a ground organization. >> thank you very much to both of you. we'll hit pause there, but we'll be talking to both of you in the next 30 some odd days. and still to come, another campaign issue, taxing marijuana to fund schools. it could move the needle on this presidential election. that is no joke. plus, violence in afghanistan rising as the war is winding down, but it isn't stopping a father, a mother and a son from deploying together to the war. when you take a closer look... ...at the best schools in the world... ...you see they all have something very interesting in common.
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pop on the ballot. voters in oregon, washington and colorado, three states are going to decide whether or not to allow marijuana to be sold and taxed and in massachusetts, to legalize medical marijuana. in colorado, the push for legalization could actually affect the entire presidential election. outfront on this story, john avlon in denver. >> here in colorado, the fight for the white house is one issue on the ballot.
in congressman polis has his way, his state will be the first state to legalize marijuana possession for adults. the idea is simple. tax and regulate marijuana in much the same way liquor is today. ♪ >> that's right. money for schools. the amendment would use the first 40 million to build new schools, but does this mile high idea add up? denver school superintendent says no. >> but this kind of discussion dependent on this kind of a measure strikes me as much more of a gimmick and as a real cruel joke almost on our kids, that this is the framework that people are proposing to have the discussion about what our kids need >> it will have a good impact on schools. i don't know why it would be a cruel joke. is 40 million enough? no, of course not. but it makes a strong dent. >> a poll shows that 51% support
the amendment, with 40% opposed. among voters age 35 and younger, the margin of support is -1. that's a coveted voting block for both campaigns, which have dismissed the idea of littlizing marijuana. >> should marijuana be legalized for -- >> aren't there issues of significance that you would like to talk about? >> this is a significant issue in colorado. >> the economy? >> we're not going to be legalizing weed anytime soon. >> one question is whether this a amendment will drive some of those voters to support gary johnson, the former republican governor of new mexico, who is a strong advocate of marijuana legalizati legalization. >> look it's a domestic issue. i know this isn't the first high profile attempt to legalize marijuana, so what's the track record? >> it hasn't been good.
most recently in california, in the tea party election of 2010, polls said this measure might pass. california looked like it was on the verge. went down to defeat on election day. it's a significant tale for folks who look at polls this far out, especially in a state this deeply divided. but what's fascinating is the way this argument is being pitched right now. they're really trying to put schools forward on the issue. it's a different tactic than we've seen in the past. >> well, i can't wait till it comes up during the debate because i just bet that it will as it should. thanks very much. ahead, three americans were killed in afghanistan today. it is the latest in a spree of deadly attacks targeting u.s. troops. and while the war may be winding down there, a father, a month and their sun all answering that
call and deploying together. [ woman ] it's 32 minutes to go time, and the candidate's speech is in pieces all over the district. the writer's desktop and the coordinator's phone are working on a joke with local color. the secure cloud just received a revised intro from the strategist's tablet. and while i make my way into the venue, the candidate will be rehearsing off of his phone. [ candidate ] and thanks to every young face i see out there. [ woman ] his phone is one of his biggest supporters. [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center... working together has never worked so well.
why they're always there to talk. i love you, james. don't you love me? i'm a robot. i know. i know you're a robot! but there's more in you than just circuits and wires! uhhh. (cries) a machine can't give you what a person can. that's why ally has knowledgeable people there for you, night and day. ally bank. your money needs an ally.
bomber driving a motorcycle killed 14 people, including three nato service members. the taliban claimed responsibility. there's been a surge in attacks by afghans turning their weapons on the americans who have been training them and working with them. some americans are going into the war zone, even now, even with those rising risks. "outfront" tonight, the story of an entire family deploying. >> reporter: dinnertime means family time at the skillman household. from who's chopping to who's stirring. to who is sitting around the table and who soon won't. how hard is this for your family? >> not real sure. i don't really think it's hit them yet, i don't. >> reporter: a grandfather to three girls, his other title is master sergeant dan skillman, u.s. army reserves. he deploys to afghanistan in just weeks with his wife, master sergeant lola skillman and their
oldest son, james, a sergeant. husband, wife and son will be gone nine months as reserve support at kandahar. despite the 29 years that lola has served, this will be her first time deployed to a war zone. are you scared at all? >> yes. some people say no, they're not scared, they're ready to go do this, but i think in the back of everybody's mind, it's a little bit terrifying. >> reporter: at the skillman home, where the unpaved road meets the montana big sky, they know about sacrifice for country. lola's father was awarded the purple heart during world war ii. dan's father joined the national guard. dan deployed for a year in iraq and james almost didn't come home from iraq, when a grenade hit his vehicle. >> the war is not over. we still have a job to do.
suzy, right now she just thinks i'm going to work and i won't be back for a long time. >> reporter: suzy, his 4-year-old who can't quite pronounce -- >> afghanistan. >> reporter: -- much less comprehend where daddy's going. >> it is very hard to talk to the family, what if we don't come back? that's just what everybody knows about going to war. you try to talk about it but how can you? >> reporter: the u.s. military doesn't have a specific policy about the deployment at the same time of an entire family unit. in this case, parents and a child. the military says it also does not keep track of how many cases like this are out there, but ask anybody around here and they'll tell you this is something they have almost never heard of. >> we have so many american heroes in this country that serve every day. it's enormous, the amount of
sacrifices that our american families make here and abroad, and they do it for selfless service for the country. >> reporter: the military is called a brotherhood. the skillmans prefer to call it family. >> i'm going with my wife and my son. >> reporter: here and there. next, a story we did about cows eating junk food got a lot of responses from you, beef eaters and vegans alike. plus, i admit, i have very serious issues. [ male announcer ] this is anna, her long day teaching the perfect swing
so we feel our viewers should have their voices heard. we have twitter, we have facebook, we have a blog. tonight, we're going "outfront" online. we featured a number of undecided voters on the show during this campaign, a lot of stories about that. one of our viewers says that that does not add up. in fact, he sent this message via facebook. come on, if you're still undecided by now you either have serious issues or you just don't give a damn. i'm reading it the way i think he would have said it. well, i do give a damn.
so i must have serious issues because i still don't know who i'm voting for. maybe it's because neither candidate has really given a clear idea of what the next four years would bring with him as president. they could both do a better job at that. here's hoping that the debates starting this week start giving us some real answers to those questions. last week, you may recall, and if you don't, please go to our blog and watch it, we really enjoyed this one, we brought you a story about rising corn prices which have led farmers to feed their cattle junk food that gets rejected by grocery stores for humans so it goes in the cows you're going to eat. yeah, what gives? they eat gummy worms and chocolate instead of corn. we got a lot of responses to that. joey wrote giving corn feed to beef is unnatural enough, let alone this stuff. beef is actually supposed to be grass-fed over something like a seven year period. now, hey, you're probably right about that. corn versus grass is a whole other can of gummy worms. still, i have to believe that corn is healthier than candy, even though it's been described to me as basically sugar for